Unregistered land, counter claim?

(14 Posts)
PandoraRocks Wed 24-Nov-21 14:31:45

I own a commercial property with a piece of waste land behind it adjacent to my building. This waste land has access via a lane to shops and pedestrian walkway. Its always been a security risk for vandalism behind my shop.

When I bought my property 6 years ago, I cut down some trees which were dangerously overhanging my building. In the process, I discovered the land was unregistered. I did all the requisite searches and asked around. Land registry confirmed it was unregistered.

I've been doing small scale maintenance and this year I've cut down the remaining trees, cleared undergrowth and erected a fence. This also prevents access to the rear of my building.

There's a cafe next door and a flat above which overlooks the land. Until last year the woman running the cafe lived in the flat. Cafe and flat are owned by the woman's relative.

This woman was an absolute pain in the ass. Complained whenever my fire alarm went off accidentally, really nasty and abusive. Sent pest controllers to inspect my drains! Tried to stop me cutting trees down, threatened to call police, threatened contractors, shouting, screaming at me.
She's now sent a solicitor's letter claiming that she's been cultivating and maintaining the land for over 20 years! Utter bollocks! The land was waste land, massively overgrown and fly tipped when I started to do stuff there. She's never shown me any evidence of maintenance. The letter says she wishes to continue to maintain the area and wants to resolve this amicably.

Do I ignore this letter or consult a solicitor? What happens if she tries to rip down the fence? I know she's only trying to stop me getting adverse possession. She's about 70 so God knows why she's doing this apart from the fact she is a vile bitch. Doesn't even live there now.

OP’s posts: |
VeniVidiWeeWee Wed 24-Nov-21 17:59:33

So, you've cut down someone else's trees, are trying to take possession of someone else's land, and the "woman" is a vile bitch.

Right-ho.

SockFluffInTheBath Wed 24-Nov-21 18:05:06

I’d get a solicitor OP and make it official one way or the other. Do you have any photos of how it was before you started tidying?

JeanBrash Wed 24-Nov-21 18:07:51

Just because it's unregistered doesn't mean it isn't owned by anyone

You need proper legal advice on this one

PandoraRocks Wed 24-Nov-21 20:35:40

@VeniVidiWeeWee, try actually reading before commenting. Not her trees or her land as she herself admitted. And yes she has a vile mouth and has tried to cause trouble ever since I bought my property.

OP’s posts: |
VeniVidiWeeWee Wed 24-Nov-21 21:06:33

@PandoraRocks

Try actually reading my reply before misquoting me. I said "someone else's trees" and "someone else's land". I didn't say either belonged to the "woman".

Saz12 Wed 24-Nov-21 22:22:00

Not registered doesn’t mean that no one owns it already.
It could be that cafe-Woman has it on her title deeds but it’s not registered (online) as yet, depending on when she bought her property. I’d be inclined to try and discuss with her first - risk of vandalism/crime etc overhanging trees, fly-tipping and the rest of it.

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Theunamedcat Wed 24-Nov-21 22:29:39

Cafe lady should have mentioned this 6 years ago

GreyhoundG1rl Wed 24-Nov-21 22:34:55

I know she's only trying to stop me getting adverse possession
You can only claim adverse possession after twelve years exclusive use of the land. Cutting down trees certainly won't do it hmm
If it's an access route for your neighbour she has every right to remove your fence.

Bimblybomeyelash Wed 24-Nov-21 22:38:52

You sound ‘entitled’ tbh.

Barbarantia Wed 24-Nov-21 22:45:16

You sound like an ageist bully...
Get legal advice if you truly believe six years, trees and a fence mean you rule the waste lands.

GreyhoundG1rl Wed 24-Nov-21 22:48:54

If the actual owner is ever unearthed, they'd have a case against you for destroying their trees. The utter neck of you beggars belief.

Polyethyl Thu 25-Nov-21 05:09:12

She's got the time in the area, but presumably she has no evidence that she's controlled the land for all those years.
You do have evidence that you are controlling the land now, but you haven't been squatting on it for enough years yet.
She's seen what your intentions are and trying to stop you, by making her own bogus claim.
If you both lawyer up, and if the current owner stays absent, then you could present your evidence to frustrate her claim. But in retaliation she's got years ahead of you to frustrate your claim too, and it sounds like she would be willing to put the effort in to doing that. She could tamper with the fence, and since the fence isn't legally on your land yet there wouldn't be much you could do. She could visit the land, taking photographs of herself being there, which would undermine your claim, in future years, that you had exclusive control of the land. She could do some gardening on the land, just a series of selfies of herself on the land holding a rake, and she's undermined your case. So you're in for a hard time with this.

Tarne Thu 25-Nov-21 06:11:09

Why on earth would you vandalise the place yourself by cutting trees down?

She could go to the Land registry and claim a prescriptive right of easement over 20 years.

Prepare to lose your property value in legal fees if you lose as you would be liable for her legal fees as well as your own.

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